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Relationship Between Railway Ground-Borne Vibration Propagation And Track Elevation – A Field Study

Adam Collins


Railway corridors form vital transportation routes for moving goods and people across Canada.  These routes have seen explosive growth of close proximity residential developments in Canada’s major cities and the impacts due to rail traffic on residences is a growing concern.  A relationship between railway ground-borne vibration propagation and track elevation relative to points of reception was investigated and proposed based a field study of vibration measurements taken adjacent to railway corridors in Ontario and Alberta. 

The purpose of this study was to compare vibration measurements under three conditions: track elevated on berm, track at grade and track below grade, relative to points of reception. Other railway variables such as track condition, train speed and soil conditions were noted however were not assessed for this paper. Results of this study indicate track elevation is a factor in railway ground-borne vibration propagation. The importance of this relationship on land-use planning adjacent to railway corridors is discussed and existing guidelines for ground-borne vibration and vibration induced noise are summarized.

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